Cookie lovers

Subject: Cookie lovers
From: Nancy McGuire <Nkmcguire -at- AOL -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 19 Aug 1996 12:57:16 -0400

I was slogging my way through a week's worth of TECHWR digests and came upon
Bill Bledsoe's "Nieman Marcus Cookie" story. Bill, I heard that same story
ten years ago, and I have the identical recipe. The way I heard it, this was
Mrs. Field's famous cookie recipe. Seems like this little bit of urban
folklore is alive and well.

The story itself brings up a relevant point for all us writer/editor types.
Why was the restaurant patron outraged at the idea of paying $250 for a
cookie recipe? In essence, she had bought a piece of proprietary
information. This information was used to generate income for a business
establishment. The unrestricted distribution of this information could very
well reduce cookie sales for Nieman Marcus. By freely distributing the
recipe, the woman obviously assumed that she had bought unlimited use of the
copy rights for the recipe.

Would you foot the bill for developing, testing, and marketing a product with
your name on it, then sell your ownership rights for $2.50? Even $250 sounds
like a bargain. If we writers are going to insist on proper recognition and
compensation for our efforts, we must also respect the rights of others.

End of soap box oration.

Nancy McGuire
nkmcguire -at- aol -dot- com
Science writing and editing services

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